Annal: 1995 Randolph Caldecott Medal

Results of the Randolph Caldecott Medal in the year 1995.

Book:Smoky Night

Smoky Night

Eve Bunting

In a night of rioting, Daniel and his mother are forced to leave their apartment for the safety of a shelter. “Diaz has not been afraid to take risks in illustrating the story with thickly textured paintings against a background of torn-paper and found-object collage. Without becoming cluttered or gimmicky, these pictures manage to capture a calamitous atmosphere that finally calms…. Both author and artist have managed to portray a politically charged event without pretense or preaching.”—The Bulletin

Book:John Henry

John Henry

Julius Lester, Jerry Pinkney

John Henry is stronger than ten men, and can dig through a mountain faster than a steam drill. Julius Lester’s folksy retelling of a popular African-American folk ballad has warmth, tall tale humor, and boundless energy. Jerry Pinkney illustrates the story with “rich colors borrowed from the rocks and the earth, so beautiful that they summon their own share of smiles and tears” (Booklist).

Book:Swamp Angel

Swamp Angel

Anne Isaacs, Paul O. Zelinsky

Swamp Angel, a prodigious heroine who can disarm taunting men and marauding bear alike, is the original creation of a talented new writer whose tall-tale text unfolds in a crackling combination of irony, exaggeration, and sheer good humor.

Caldecott Medallist Paul O. Zelinsky, working in an American primitive style on cherry and maple veneers, brings his matchless wit and whimsy to these characters of extraordinary dimension. Drawing us into the luxuriant beauty of the American wilderness, his paintings flow with rhythm, deft expression, and a sense of monumental motion that befits a heroine who can wield a tornado like a lasso and drink a lake dry.

From the Great Smoky Mountains to the starry heavens above, Swamp Angel and Thundering Tarnation leave their indelible impressions on land and sky. So too will this book hold readers with its bold, expansive image-making—grandly demonstrating the flamboyant vigor and winking humor by which the tall-tale tradition endures.

Book:Time Flies

Time Flies

Eric Rohmann

Time Flies, a wordless picture book, is inspired by the theory that birds are the modern relatives of dinosaurs. This story conveys the tale of a bird trapped in a dinosaur exhibit at a natural history museum. Through Eric’s use of color, readers can actually see the bird enter into a mouth of a dinosaur, and then escape unscathed.

The New York Times Book Review called Time Flies “a work of informed imagination and masterly storytelling unobtrusively underpinned by good science…an entirely absorbing narrative made all the more rich by its wordlessness.” Kirkus Reviews hailed it as “a splendid debut.”

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